Tag Archives: Charity

“Fridges of kindness” across Iran

Thousands of volunteers all over Iran are helping to eliminate homelessness through a group called Payane Kartonkhabi, ending homelessness, or more literally, ‘ending sleeping in cardboard boxes’. The group not only distributes food among the homeless but also installs fridges on the street so that the neighbours can leave homemade meals for those in need. Payane Kartonkhabi is active in more than 20 cities including Tabriz, Isfahan, Kermanshah, Arak, and Shiraz, thanks to Instagram, Facebook and mostly Telegram.

In Tehran, some shops have reportedly put out refrigerators and invited people to leave food they do not want for homeless people to take. At least one bakery has put out a box of bread for those who cannot afford it. “Bread is free for those who can’t pay,” reads a sign on the box.

A combination of the “wall of kindness” with this initiative has lead to build cottage-like frames with not only a fridge in it but also a closet where people can put their spare clothes. Some even have bookshelves for books donations and others have cabinets where kids can leave their extra toys for others.

About Payane Kartonkhabi
Ali Heidari, an advertising manager in Tehran, told The Guardian about the tragedy he saw when he delivered meals to the homeless living in Harandi, a neighborhood in south Tehran, with his wife and son in May 2015. After going to friends and relatives, he used social media to ask for help.

On a Wednesday in July, the first group of volunteers went to south Tehran and distributed food. This is now regular. Every Wednesday, at 10pm, volunteers take thousands of food portions to Shoush neighbourhood. “Our record is 5,000 meals in one night,” says Heidari.
The installing of fridges began in October. The idea is simple: those who can afford it will put food in the fridge, and anyone who’s hungry, be it a homeless person or a neighbour, can open the fridge and take something to eat. In addition to that, the group also helps fight addiction among the homeless, taking an approach different from the official organisations. Payane Kartonkhoabi’s goal is to put an end to homelessness in Iran. It holds training workshops for those who are drug-free and tries to find jobs for them.

Sources: The Guardian 1The Guardian 2Borgen Project, Mehr News Agency (MNA) 1, MNA 2, Instagram @payane_kartonkhabi, Tasnim News

“Walls of kindness” across Iran (Photos)

Walls typically create divisions but also the opposite is possible. With the addition of a few hooks and a splash of paint, walls across Iran are being reinvented as part of an outdoor charity initiative in which strangers leave goods they no longer want for those who need them.

The message above a row of hooks reads “Wall of Kindness”. It is a place where passersby are invited to “leave what you do not need” or “take it if you need”. Similar messages have turned up throughout the country as Iranians take matters into their own hands to help homeless people.

In Mashhad, where someone installed a few hooks and hangers on a wall, next to the words: “If you don’t need it, leave it. If you need it, take it.” Donations of coats, trousers and other warm clothing started to appear. The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, set up his charity wall on his own property in October, he told Hamshahri: “I saw a picture from Gilan [Province] where a place was designated for people to leave their extra clothes for whoever needed them. I also heard that in Tehran they’ve installed a fridge where people leave food [for the needy].”

It is not clear who started the trend, but in a country where use of social media networks is widespread, it has swiftly caught on. In Tehran, some shops have reportedly put out refrigerators and invited people to leave food they do not want for homeless people to take. At least one bakery has put out a box of bread for those who cannot afford it. “Bread is free for those who can’t pay,” reads a sign on the box.

Civil society in Iran is strong, and a number of non-governmental charities have had a significant impact recently, including the Mahak society, a Tehran-based organisation founded by the philanthropist Saeedeh Ghods that supports children with cancer.

Some charitable organisations have been hampered by sanctions imposed on Iran. One unintended consequence was that imports of life-saving medicine were made difficult as international banks refused to handle any money associated with the country. With sanctions relief, there are rising hopes that such charities will once again be able to work as normal.

Sources: The Guardian, BBC News, Payvand News of Iran, ABC, CNN, Mehr News Agency (MNA) 1, MNA 2, MNA 3, MNA 4, MNA 5, MNA 6, MNA 7, MNA 8, MNA 9, Tasnim News Agency (TNA) 1, TNA 2, TNA 3, ISNA 1, ISNA 2

Art for Humanity WFP Exhibition in Iran

Art for Humanity

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) exhibition features 130 works by 100 prominent Iranian artists in painting and other fields of visual arts.

“This move can serve as a model for the artists in the other countries,” said UN representative, Garry Lewis, during the opening ceremony of the exhibition.


Speaking at the ceremony, director of the center Abbas Sajjadi hoped to celebrate the end of hunger one day. “In our culture, helping others is a precious value that we have inherited.”

“The project began with 33 artists last year, but we are proud to have 100 artists this year,” she said, adding that the artworks have been priced by the artists themselves.

Gary Lewis also said that many steps need to be taken to eradicate hunger in the world. Sufficient food is being produced in the world, however there is still hunger not only in the poor countries but in the rich and developed ones, he said.

He added all the money raised in this exhibit will provide food for different individuals including Afghan nationals who are being supported by the country of Iran.

He thanked all the Iranian artists who have displayed their heart and compassion in their works.

Hossein Mahjubi, Jalal Shabahangi, Reza Bangiz, Mostafa Asadollahi, Mohammad Farnud and Sorush Sehhat attended the opening ceremony.

Nahid Aryan, Shima Esfandiari, Simin Ekrami, Minu Emami, Bahram Dabiri, Hamed Rashtian, Mohamamd Salahshur, Asal Fallah and Ario Farzi are among the participating artists in the exhibit.

Source: http://www.payvand.com/news/14/oct/1106.html

Iranian artists contribute to the efforts of the United Nations food agency to take on global hunger.


Up to 100 Iranian artists are to sell their works at a charity event at Niavaran Cultural Center on Friday (October 17, 2014) to help the World Food Programme (WFP) with its efforts to ease global hunger, Khabaronline quoted Negar Gerami of the WFP as telling a news conference in Tehran.

“There is plenty of food to go around in the world,” she said, adding, “Our efforts are meant to reduce the number of people who go hungry to zero.”

She went on to say that Iran is not among countries that grapple with hunger, but that does not mean we can be indifferent to this global problem.

“October 16th has been designated as World Food Day, and we at WFP make efforts to draw public attention to global measures to eliminate hunger,” she said, adding, “This year, works of art by Iranian artists are being used as a tool to raise public awareness. Around 100 artists have donated their works of art to be sold at the event. The proceeds will go to the WFP drive to take on world hunger.”

Parviz Kalantari, an Iranian painter, told the same news conference, “We need to stay clear of politics…. The Iranian people have always joined forces for charitable causes; still, efforts should be made to press home the fact that one should not be indifferent to global problems.”

Shokufeh Malek-Kiani, an Iranian photographer and an artistic consultant of the UN, said the number of artists who donated their works for the charity event, which features visual arts, has risen from 32 last year to around 100 this year.”


Iranian artists come together to support World Food Programme

100 prominent Iranian artists have donated artworks to support the United Nations World Food Programme in its fight against hunger. The collection will be exhibited on World Food Day in October 2014 and will be displayed for a week before being sold to raise funds for WFP activities in Iran.

Parviz Tanavoli, Abbas Kiarostami, Jalil Rasouli, Maryam Zandi, Parviz Kalantari, and Gizella Varga Sinai are among the many famous masters who support WFP.

Shargh Newspaper published an article and interview with Negar Gerami, WFP Representative and Shokoufeh Malekkiani, the curator about this initiative in their Jun 11, 2014 issue.

Click here to read the interview in Persian.




Professor Parvaneh Vosough: “Iran’s Mother Theresa”

Parvaneh-VosoughProfessor Parvaneh Vosough was born in 1935 in Tafresh, central Iran. She received her MD in general medicine in 1963 in Tehran University of Medical Science. She completed her specialty and sub-specialty in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Illinois Universities, and she attended Washington University for her graduate course. In 1971 she returned to Iran and practiced her profession in Ali Asghar Hospital in Tehran.

Her colleagues say that many times, she had been proposed residence of US and European countries for research and lucrative income, but that she had chosen providing free service to her country’s cancer-suffering children.

In the course of her medical services, Professor Vosough treated many cancer-suffering children around the world, giving them health, and she had never married. Perhaps for this reason, she was called ‘Iran’s Mother Theresa’ by some people.

Source: Payvand News | Prof. Parvaneh Vosough, angel of Iran’s Cancer Children, passes away

Iranian charity provides medical care to refugee children

[…] Fortunately, UNHCR and MAHAK have worked for more than 10 years in a fruitful collaboration to provide assistance to cancer-stricken refugee children. MAHAK is a non-profit, non-political, and non-governmental charity focused on treating children with cancer. It uses the most up-to-date diagnostic, treatment and prevention methods, with both outpatient and in-patient services. It provides chemotherapy, medication, lab tests, radiation therapy, CT scan, transportation and family counseling – all without regard to religion, race or nationality of patients. MAHAK is supported by fundraising and humanitarian assistance in the form of money, goods, services and technical expertise. Under the joint UNHCR-MAHAK project for 2013, a total of 76 Afghan and Iraqi refugee children under the age of 15 who suffer from cancer will be provided with medical treatment. Under this project, the accompanying parent is also provided with counseling, accommodation and food when needed because they reside outside Tehran and face difficult economic conditions. Iran has generously hosted the second largest refugee population in the world for over three decades — currently more than 880,000 refugees, some 40,000 from Iraq and the rest from Afghanistan. The government of Iran has always provided its refugees with access to the main areas of education, livelihood and health, some of which can be life-saving. MAHAK takes every opportunity to cheer up the children. Javad Nekoonam, a famous Iranian football player, recently joined them for a short game. The staff of MAHAK convey their own hope, enthusiasm and energy to the children. Some are volunteers, families of patients who have themselves survived cancer, and strong believers in what can be achieved. Many refugee families had stories like that of Ali, all grateful for the economic and psychological help the UNHCR-MAHAK agreement has brought to their lives. There were children from 2- to 17-years-old struggling with leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, cancerous tumors and undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy. About Mahak: About two decades ago a mother who had experienced having a child with cancer and had witnessed first hand the difficulties faced by her child, pledged to set up a center that would act as a refuge for children and their families in a similar situation. With the assistance of the same friends and relatives who had helped her through her own ordeal, a board of trustees was selected and MAHAK Society to Support Children suffering from Cancer was set up as a non profit, non-governmental organization and was registered under number 6567 in 1991. MAHAK has been active from that day on in helping children with cancer and their families. Sources: http://www.unhcr.org/520b65139.html http://www.payvand.com/news/13/aug/1133.html